State employees turning the heat on Assam Government

With the State employees turning the heat on Assam Government, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today decided to convey to the Union Finance Ministry the decision to hike the salaries of the State Government employees according to the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. The Chief Minister was slated to meet Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and discuss about a number of proposals being worked out by the State Government to ease the impact of the financial crisis.

After completing his health check-up yesterday, Gogoi today called on a number of Central Ministers including Union Water Resources Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State, Vincent H Pala, Union Minister for Tourism and Housing Kumari Selja, besides Mukherjee. In the evening he called on ailing Governor Shiv Charan Mathur at Escort Heart Institute.

Gogoi said that his main agenda for the meeting with Mukherjee was to discuss about the implication of hiking pay of government employees on the States finances. “We have decided to hike the salaries of the employees and we will face the situation arising out of the decision,” the Chief Minister told this newspaper.

The Chief Minister hinted that the Government was looking at an additional burden of Rs 5000-6000 crore. “Initially, we expect to face hardship, but if we overcome that then in the long run, we hope to get some relief from the Central Government to plug the gap in the resources,” he said.

However, the State Government is still in the process of working out the period from which the hike would be made effective. The arrears may be high and some of the States have given retrospective effect only since 2008, he added.

A formal announcement of the details is likely to be part of the State Budget.

Gogoi reasoned that non-implementation of the Pay Commissions recommendation by the State Government may lead to lot of heartburn among the employees. For Gogoi the stakes couldn’t be higher given that he faces an election in about two years time and hostile government employees might wreak havoc to his party’s prospects. Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad has already started issuing threats.

There is no option for the Government of Assam but make similar pay revision for its employees also, he said.

The State Government has called for 100 per cent Central assistance to the Special Category State to meet the additional burden on this count.

Source : The Assam Tribune.

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